Hi, I've been feeling very suicidal for the past month or so, but I've had suicidal feelings for over 6 years. I'm a 22-year-old woman, I have a car, an apartment, a loving family, enough money to do fun things sometimes as well as buy food and pay bills, and I'm going to graduate in May... if everything turns out alright. Here's the thing: I appear to have everything a woman should need to be happy, but I am absolutely miserable. I struggle to get through each day without failing to attend important meetings or failing to meet requirements for my demanding course work. I am a sex addict. Many people think that this is not a legitimate diagnosis, however I don't know how else to describe the issues that I deal with. I view internet porn videos compulsively, every day, for 2-3 hours a day. I compulsively have sex with men whom I have not met before and whose medical background I am not aware of (as far as STDs go). I have taken the "morning after" pill 3 times in the past 6 months, once because of condom failure, but twice because I just decided to have unprotected sex. In the last two months, I've started using marijuana frequently. At first, it was only a few times a week, but it's now increased to up to 2 times a day. I have a history of incestuous sexual abuse in my childhood as well as verbal and physical abuse. I have been depressed since I was a young child (the abuse started at age 4), but I have been severely depressed for about ten years. I have also been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. The symptoms of these disorders severely disrupt my life, leading me to go through endless cycles of feeling decent (ie, feeling non-suicidal and functional), then losing sleep, feeling empty, becoming extremely depressed, skipping meals for days, becoming dehydrated (once to the point that I had to go to the ER for IV fluids because I was on the verge of losing consciousness), feeling as if I can't bear the feeling of guilt and shame and dread that I have constantly, calling suicide hotlines, occasionally cutting, and becoming extremely risky in my sexual behaviors. While all of this is stressful, obviously, I have finally made a decision that has caused me to believe that my life is truly not worth living, or trying to improve. I grew up in an extremely conservative, Christian household. I mention this because it is salient to the following disclosure. I have felt for a long, long time that I was attracted to women/girls when I was a girl. In fact, I believe that I felt sexual attraction toward women before I felt attracted to men. In the previous year, I have lost my virginity, smoked pot, smoked tobacco, done benzos, done hydros, and accumulated over 20 sexual partners. I feel that I am worthless, scummy, hypocritical, dirty, sinful, and in general a bad person. However, last night, I finally broke down and had sex with a woman. In my particular Christian sect, this is a sin that warrants immediate excommunication. My church does not accept homosexuality as a natural variance in human sexuality; it regards homosexuality as evil and immoral. I think that I am bisexual because I still enjoy dating and having sex with men. I don't know if I can continue living under all of this guilt and shame and the continued battering that I endure because of my mental disorders. The worst part, to me, is that I enjoy the behaviors that I see as "bad". I enjoy having anonymous sex and taking ridiculous risks. I enjoyed having sex with a woman. I enjoy doing drugs. To me, a person who does bad things and enjoys them is a bad person, period. My questions are these: 1. Would you please explain why homosexuality is a natural variance in human sexuality? 2. Is it normal that I am going through all of these changes, even though I am not a teenager anymore? 3. Can I be a good person and have homosexual interactions? 4. Is sexual addiction at all curable? 5. If I decide that I want to kill myself, would that be cowardly? I desperately, and secretly, just want someone to tell me that it's ok to die and that I can kill myself. 6. Is there any possibility that I could be an open, honest, bisexual woman, and not feel like dying every second that I'm not high or asleep? I know that this is a lot of information and a lot of questions to boot. I feel desperate. So so so so so desperate. I am so tired of fighting just to exist. And yes, I've been in therapy for 2.5 years, and feel that things are getting worse even after multiple different medications, being more open with loved ones, and trying different therapists and therapy modes. I feel like I'm living the lyric from Macklemore's song, "Same Love" that says, "kids walking down the hallway, plagued by pain in their heart, a world so hateful, some would rather die than be who they are." Please help.
Dear Tired, Charlie hears that you have a lot going on and is glad to hear that you have been seeing someone professionally. Your issues are complex and best addressed by your therapist. Charlie cannot do online therapy but can endeavor to answer some of the questions you’ve posed. Before addressing your questions, Charlie hears you when you say, “I’ve been feeling very suicidal for the past month” and follow this up with other statements that are quite concerning. Charlie encourages you to get the help you need. If you are feeling like hurting yourself, please call a helpline (765-288-HELP(4357), contact your therapist, or, if in imminent danger, go to the ER at Ball Hospital (747-3241). Charlie will try to briefly address each of your questions.
Again, Charlie encourages discuss these issues to your therapist—together with all of the emotional reactions they may bring up for you. Wishing you energy and resilience your therapeutic process, Charlie
Copyright © 2013 Ball State University 2000 W. University Ave. Muncie, IN 47306
800-382-8540 and 765-289-1241